OSCP Update Week 1

So, I’ve completed my first week of studying for the OSCP and wanted to talk about what I’ve learned so far and my progress.

Right from the go, I had to make decisions about how i was going to tackle this and there were decisions I had to make right from the start which I’m going to talk through below.

Lab Report

From the outset I had to decide if I was doing a lab report which I’ve decided to do.

So far I’ve realised this is an involved process with a lot of exercises to complete and document along with when ive done the exercises, to fully compromise 10 lab machines and document this.

I think it will be worth doing because it can get you 5 extra points if submitted at the end of your exam and it also serves as a reference guide for when your completing the exam.


From the outset, i decided to use Cherry Tree which comes with Kali to keep my notes organised and my screenshots and notes from the exercises.

The reason i went with this is because I can export this as HTML and then when i write my lab report, I can use this site and because of the way I’ve set this up, I have a page for each exercise grouped by the module they were in.

I’ve found Cherry Tree really intuitive to use and its quick, you can store screenshots directly into it which is a real bonus to keep everything organised.

Kali Setup

As I’ve written about previously, I don’t run Kali through a VM, instead opting for a live USB drive and booting from this.

OSCP reccommend that you use a Virtual Machine so I had to give some thought about how I was going to do this.

I decided in the end to continue using my live USB for my OSCP journey as this is what I’m used to when doing CTF’s and have this already set up how I like it.


If you didn’t already know, the OSCP course is delivered as a lab guide in PDF and an archive with your videos in as a HTML site.

You only have a few days to download these and if you don’t, there is a charge for making these available to you again.

These, along with the VPN connectivity pack are extremely important to be able to complete the course, so backing up is essential.

For my course materials, I have these on my laptop hard drive, on an external hard drive and on a USB drive.

As for my Cherry Tree notes and my exercise folder and my OpenVPN document, I have these on the USB where my Kali is booted from.

These however, are backup up to a USB drive and also an online platform. I decided to use GitLab for this as it is easy to keep these private.

I have the working folder with my Cherry Tree file and my exercises as a GitLab repo so when it comes time to backup it is 3 commands to do this easily.

git add .
git commit
git push

This also keeps track of the changes you’ve made, so if i backed up my folder and copied this to my USB and realised I’ve deleted something, I can go back to a previous version on GitLab.

I am really happy with the progress I’ve made in week 1, and looking forward to this week to make more progress on the exercises.

If you have any questions, drop me a message!